Sound studio, Brunswick, 6pm

It was a cold and windy night as the cliché goes, when I found Jarek in the back-blocks of Brunswick, down a deserted industrial road. As their eerie sound floated out from a large warehouse, I couldn’t help but begin to narrate an urban horror film – staring myself – in my head.

Jarek is a new breed of instrumental band. Unlike most ego-driven performers, they prefer to keep the audience’s focus on their emotional experience by mixing atmospheric sound with visual projections.

Since their first album release late last year, they have been leaving an impression on Melbourne’s underground venues, and by their own admission, are developing a cult following.

Jarek’s members, brothers Jared and Glenn Brentnall, Peter Clancy and Brett Cusack, describe themselves as post-futuristic poster boys, but even they are not sure what that means yet.

No words

We released our first single Windy Winds last year and we played at the Wesley Anne in Northcote. We left the single for the last song, and we got cut off because it was too late to play! So, ironically, we didn’t get to play our own single at the single launch.

Our trademark is really the lack of vocals and the focus on instrumentation. The line up we’ve got includes two electric guitars, keys, base, and acoustic guitar – so it’s pretty guitar focused. We’ve got eleven instruments in our song ‘Organistic’, for example, which gives it a really worldly sound.

We are trying to put an emphasis on creating a show with a vibe where the music takes you on a journey. We use lots of ambient sound effects like wind, rain and thunder, footsteps. Windy Winds has some spoken samples from Frankenstein and we use the foot peddles to trigger off the different sounds during the show.

Stories from sound

Because there are no lyrics to keep an audience engaged, it’s crucial there is some visual element there. We play projections to compliment the music, and we have one we like to call ‘all things Cudmore’.

We used to live in a really weird house on Cudmore Street in Essendon, and when we first moved in, we found two babies in a preserved jar in a cupboard. So we took them out of the cupboard and they became a part of the house. We now use photos of them in our show.

You are going to attract more open minded to people instrumental bands. For a lot of people when they hear our stuff, their first reaction is ‘where’s the vocals?’ and it throws them off. The advantage of instrumental bands is there is more freedom to think whatever you want about the music, because you are not directed to follow  vocals.

We tell stories through the songs, some things are inspired by emotions or experiences and then other times it’s more about writing something heavy, or technical, or beautiful. There are moments of awkwardness and intensity, so it is pretty emotional.

Jarek, who are named after a mortal kombat character of the same name, can be found at http://www.myspace.com/jarekmusic.